The likely exhibitors at Automotive Testing in Stuttgart this June make it a must for the motor industry

Already well established as a closely focused event for auto industry professionals, Automotive Testing Expo 2015 will benefit from the ever-increasing role that sophisticated test equipment now plays in motor industry developments. Vehicle safety and emissions issues has given a boost to a sector already growing strongly as a result of the natural development of complex technologies in modern vehicles. The event will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, with over 300 exhibitors spanning the full range of vehicle test technologies and applications. Within the arena will be designated areas including a crash test zone and a section for companies engaged in vehicle dynamics and associated test systems.

A look through the exhibitor list reveals an impressive line-up of companies large and small. In the field of automotive predictive analytics, Control-Tec will present telematic and analytics solutions for automotive engineers, hoping to persuade visitors of the potential for Big Data to generate actionable solutions. With a claim that 80% of US OEMs have used its tools and solutions, there is no doubt that the company’s stand will attract attention. Control-Tec’s Qualifier platform allows clients to transform product development by providing data-driven solutions merging information technology, engineering, data analysis and software development.

Tailored technical support
Specialist companies dealing with specific data sectors will feature strongly at the Expo. A small German company which produces acoustical measurement systems, Discom has over 30 years’ experience of working with the motor industry. Located in Gottingen, a city with a large university population, the company can draw upon the most advanced computing and engineering techniques available today.

The company is part of the so-called ‘Measurement Valley’, where technology-orientated measurement companies based in the Leine Valley have come together to promote their expertise. Automatically operated test benches allow sophisticated simulations to be performed on bearings and transmissions, while other techniques allow continuous monitoring of product acoustic quality in the manufacturing environment.

SensitecDynaTronic Corporation is another enterprise offering specific skills in the field of vibration analysis and measurement. The company is expanding its global team to support customers in the use of its vibration control techniques. Products include the Venzo 800 vibration controller that is customisable to clients’ needs and offers comprehensive vibration control software modules.

Swedish company Image Systems will be among several providers at Stuttgart offering sophisticated motion analysis and motion capture systems, which are essential to so much vehicle test and simulation work. Typical applications include full-scale crash testing as well as non-intrusive sled testing.

Oxford Technical Solutions (OxTS) has an increasing profile in the automotive test environment as a result of its specialist vehicle dynamics and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) testing systems. With the increasing adoption of such systems, the need for dedicated test equipment has increased significantly. Collision warning, lane departure and optical recognition systems all present distinct challenges which OxTS has tackled. Processing large amounts of accurate data from multiple targets, to be available at a single source and in real time, is an essential requirement for the test and validation of these ADAS systems.

Visitors to the OxTS stand may wish also to explore the company’s range of vehicle dynamics sensors. Combining GNSS and inertial measurements to provide constant position, slip angle, orientation and velocity, they offer high levels of accuracy and repeatability. Where space restrictions prevent installation at the measurement point, the ability to configure the sensors to work with a displaced measurement saves time and will be appreciated by users.

Firm foundations for testing
Sophisticated test equipment requires secure foundations and can frequently present complex clamping challenges. Wilh.Stolle can provide the hardware needed to ensure the most reliable test outcomes; cast-iron surface and measurement plates, as well as measurement beams, form one part of the company’s offering. Alongside these components are the full range of clamping technologies which are required for complex test environments.

Other hardware required in the construction of suitable test environments include the environmental simulation technologies needed for corrosion and weathering tests, as well as component integrity and performance testing in temperature and moisture extremes. Weiss Umwelttechnik can offer appropriate solutions. The company’s drive-in test chambers and specialised environmental test systems, conforming to international standards, have been used in quality management in the automotive sector for many years.

Servotest Testing Systems will bring its high-performance vibration simulation and test equipment to the Stuttgart show. The company can supply both test and simulation hardware along with an appropriate suite of analytical and control software tools. Other well-established companies in vehicle dynamics will show advanced vehicle dynamic test equipment. Anthony Best Dynamics, for example, will return to Stuttgart this year, offering extensive experience in all aspects of specialist vehicle test procedures. The company’s driving robots are widely used in test procedures.

Working with manufacturers
TEAC also plans to attend Automotive Testing, bringing high-speed wideband data recorders and similar products. Meanwhile, Horiba will be promoting its turnkey capability across the full range of engine, driveline, brake and emissions testing. Working closely with manufacturers, Horiba has developed sophisticated test equipment to assist in the reduction and control of vehicle emissions.

Rotronics by Dynosens will be among a number of exhibitors bringing extensive experience and expertise in bench and chassis dynamometers for vehicle testing and evaluations. Ruetz is another established supplier of test equipment which will be returning to Stuttgart in 2015, offering specifically tailored test systems for electronic components. The company stresses the importance of a coherent test strategy when developing electronic systems and seeks to partner with OEMs and suppliers to develop tailored test regimes. The company’s data-logging products can be adapted to suit individual applications, while the Testerlyzer system can deal with networked components as well as individual component test and analysis.

Vispiron Engineering offers development, test and system integration services for vehicle electronics. With specialist expertise in system integration, using static lab vehicles the company can troubleshoot and analyse complex systems from concept to production. Amongst its products is Carsync-Update – a wireless update system to allow automotive ECUs to be updated and reprogrammed in a customer friendly manner, using quick and efficient data transmission via multipath technology.

Accurate Technologies (ATI) is another exhibitor anxious to emphasise that, although product-based, the company interprets its role much as would a service organisation, with all aspects of its work focused on specific client requirements. As a leading independent supplier of ECU development tools, the company will welcome enquires from those with ECU calibration and test responsibilities

Test facility, Toyota Motorsport

Inspiration from the skies
Zodiac Data Systems brings its extensive aerospace expertise in data monitoring and recording to serve the automotive sector. With products and expertise in telemetry, embedded information management, data recording and remote sensing, its equipment can be used across a range of applications. Some visitors to Stuttgart will already be familiar with Zodiac’s DATaRec series of distributed measuring systems used in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) test applications.

It is noticeable that quite a few of the companies exhibiting at Automotive Testing Expo have aerospace and defence backgrounds; motorsport is another common route. Toyota Motorsport and Spain’s Piedrafita have a strong presence in the market and plan to be well represented at Stuttgart.

Piedrafita offers data acquisition systems as well as specialist hydraulics for test benches and dynamic performance measurement equipment. From its base in Cologne, Germany, Toyota Motorsport offers sophisticated test and simulation options to external clients, pledging strict confidentiality and extensive engineering back-up. The company claims to offer among the most comprehensive range of component testing facilities available anywhere on the open market, and will be keen to engage with interested visitors at Automotive Testing.

Sensitec will return to Stuttgart in 2015 with products suitable for many automotive test applications. The company offers a range of sensor products but also has the capacity to develop complete measurement systems on behalf of clients. Sensitec CEO Rolf Slatter has testified to the benefits of exhibiting at Auto Test Expo, having established numerous useful contacts during the company’s first appearance at the event in 2014.

Alongside the exhibition, the Autonomous Vehicle Test and Development Symposium will address the test and validation challenges posed by automated driving technologies. Contributions are scheduled from over 60 industry experts who are directly involved with driverless vehicle testing.

Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2015 will take place at Messe Stuttgardt, Germany, from June 16-18.